Monthly Archives: September 2018

Weight Watchers Loses Weight

Weight WatchersYesterday, on NBC’s Today Show, Mindy Grossman, CEO of Weight Watchers announced that Weight Watchers is rebranding itself “WW” with a focus on wellness.

This makes sense for a product line-extension to more fully service their client base. Instead of just “losing weight” clients now “gain wellness!”

With this change they are changing their name/logo to “WW.”

This allows Weight Watchers, or rather “WW” to provide additional products and services to their clients. It should allow “WW” to create longer and more valuable client relationships which should result in a more stable business and financial environment for employees and the company.

BUT…. HERE IS THE RUB……Based on what I have heard and read thus far:

  • WW does not mean Weight Watchers.
  • WW means Wellness that Works.

Weight Watchers is the 55-year old Undisputed World Champion of Weight Loss! Their equity in the marketplace and their equity in the minds of the consuming public is that of weight loss.

Walk down the street ask anyone, “What organization will help you lose weight?” I will bet that 99% of the answers will be “Weight Watchers!”

Ask the same question about “Wellness” and not only will no one say Weight Watchers, you will get answers covering everything from apples to the Z-spa.

If the rebranding from “Weight Loss” to “Wellness” is done without maintaining a connection to weight loss, it leaves “WW” with no position they own in the market and no position they own in the minds of their consumers. If that is the case, they are throwing out 55 years of equity, good will, recognition as arguably the market leader in the space.

WW could have easily communicated their transition from weight loss to wellness and still have maintained the equity they have in the weight loss market.

Instead of:

  • WW = Wellness that Works

It could mean:

  • WW = Weight to Wellness
  • WW = Wellness through Weight Loss
  • WW = Weight & Wellness Watchers

Just keep “Weight Loss” in the brand!!

Another important factor is that Weight Watchers was competing in the weight loss marketplace. Which they owned.

WW is now competing in the “Wellness Marketplace.” They do not have a position in this market. In the wellness marketplace you have the entire medical industry, every hospital network, every health insurance company, every chiropractor, nutritionist and acupuncturist, every nutritional product, diet fad, every sport drink, every gym, yoga studio and Pilates club, the list goes on and on.

Compare Weight Watchers rebranding to what FedEx did when they bought Kinko’s in February 2004.

  • FedEx owned the overnight delivery market.
  • Kinko’s owned the consumer copy center market.

FedEx was the acquiring corporation, so FedEx would dictate what name would be used. FedEx simply added FedEx to Kinko’s to be FedEx/Kinko’s.

This move kept the equity that both companies had in the minds of the consuming public. Now consumers could get their copies and mail their packages at the same store. This avoided massive amounts of confusion and lost revenues.

Five years later, once consumers were used to the change, FedEx dropped Kinko’s and changed to FedEx Office. Had they launched with FedEx Office in 2004, no one would have known what they were. The only option would have been to spend millions of dollars to educate the public.

We all have existing equity in our lives. Perhaps it is existing equity with our friends and family, existing equity at our work or with our customers. Perhaps it is equity in our neighborhood or community.

Sure, expand your brand and make a bigger mark on the world. But keep the equity you have earned!

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When in Doubt

How do you know what will be acceptable to say to an audience?

ConfusedMany times the line can be blurred between:

  1. Wanting to create an impact on the audience. Wanting to make them laugh and to engage them with examples and rhetorical devices and…
  2. Overstepping social and cultural boundaries by saying something offensive.

We don’t often achieve what we want by playing it safe. It is necessary to push beyond our own comfort zone and to many times push the audience out of their comfort zone to deliver an effective speech.

On the flipside, we don’t achieve what we want by being offensive.

When I am unsure of how a topic, example or subject will be accepted by an audience, there are three ways I determine if I should use it or not.

Jim Key

  1. The best option is to test it on non-crucial audiences and get their reaction and feedback.
  2. The next option is to run it by a few trusted peers who understand the audience I will be speaking to and get their opinion.
  3. Lastly, I use some advice I received from Jim Key, one of my fellow World Champions of Public Speaking. Jim said he lives by the mantra “When in doubt — Leave it out!”

There are numerous ways to craft a speech and make your point. You can create a beautiful talk with a great message and lose the some or all of the audience with one inappropriate comment.

Using questionable material and subject matter in a talk is simply an admission of one’s lack of ability and creativity.

Take the high road and always leave your audiences better than you found them!

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What is your Brand?

I hear a lot about “Branding” today. I regularly get emails about the corporate brand, your personal brand, defining your brand, building your brand, brand nauseum!!!

Much branding information focuses on a logo or a positioning statement.

For example:

  • BMW — The Ultimate Driving Machine
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken — Finger Lick’n Good!

Thus, you change the logo or positioning statement to change the brand.

I have a different concept of branding.

Rancher Branding CattleIn the American West — in the time of cowboys, open ranges and cattle drives — in order to tell one rancher’s cattle from another, ranchers would burn a mark into their livestock’s hide. When other ranchers saw the mark, they knew who owned the cattle. When rustlers stole the cattle, they knew whose cattle they were stealing. The “brand” is the mark that the rancher left on the cattle.

Thus, a business’s brand is simply the mark the business leaves on its customers.

BMW Corporate LogoBMW — The Ultimate Driving Machine only works if a BMW actually is the ultimate driving machine. It’s the car and its performance that leaves the mark on the driver and makes the brand.
Starbucks Corporate LogoStarbucks brand is not a green and white mermaid. Starbucks brand is my grande Veranda with no room for cream, or it is a venti pumpkin spice latte with eight shots of espresso, seven pumps of pumpkin sauce, and one pump of maple pecan sauce, as the case may be. It also is a comfortable place to meet with a variety of chairs and tables where you can stay for hours and not get hassled, clean restrooms and free Wifi.

What is good customer service?Our personal brand is the mark we leave on the people we meet and touch each day. We each leave a mark on everyone we touch. Some of us leave others feeling better every time we see them. Some of us make others happy every time we leave. I am sure we all have friends who are always late or don’t seem care if they upset us. We also have friends who aware and concerned about our well being.

Our personal brand is the mark we leave on the people we meet.Your Personal Brand

Let’s be sure not to burn them!

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